Backcountry Skiing Avalanches and More Avalanches


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | March 30, 2005      

Seems like more avalanche accidents are happening this spring than during most years. The recent backcountry skiing tragedy on the Sierra East Side is a good example. And on March 25 an Idaho skier survived incredible trauma due to a quick rescue from his expert and devoted companions. According to news reports Steve Waltcher was swept through trees (known in ski circles as a “strainer”) In addition to two broken femurs, one a compound fracture, Waltcher also broke his pelvis, left fibula and right wrist.

With a battering like that it’s simply amazing that Walcher lived. We pray his healing will go well and he’ll enjoy a 100% recovery.

Clothing report: I wore out my Serendipity soft shell (it worked well for Moab extreme Jeeping, need I say more?) — so Cloudveil recently sent me another one for continued evaluation and review. Thanks Cloudveil! My first take on this piece was super positive, and the latest incarnation of the Serendipity continues the trend. Changes are minimal, the only thing I noticed is better velcro closure tabs at the wrists. It still has the trim fit and deep Napoleon pockets many of us love. Highly recommended.

Telemark Skiing: Despite the identity crises in their name, the Annual U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Telemark Championships appears to have gone well last weekend in Crested Butte, Colorado. Problem is, I have yet to see a photo of anyone telemarking at the championships (hence the name?) — every photo I see is of someone floating through the air looking exactly like any alpine latched heel skier. I’m sure the telemark hero shots exist, so I’ll post a link when I find one.



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  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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